President Biden just signed the American Rescue Plan into law. This is great news for schools in general, and there are a lot of positives in here for students with disabilities.
School divisions will be able to use the funding broadly, for:
- Any activity authorized by ESSA/ESEA and the IDEA
- Coordinating a response to the coronavirus with other agencies, preparedness and response efforts
- Addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and students in foster care
- Training and professional development on sanitation/minimizing spread of the virus
- Supplies to sanitize and clean facilities
- Activities during long-term closures, including providing meals to eligible students, providing technology for online learning, providing guidance for carrying out requirements under the IDEA
educational technology, which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment
- Mental health services and supports
- Summer learning (classroom or online) and afterschool programs, with specific reference to addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.
- Addressing learning loss among students, including low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care, of the local educational agency. This includes: assessments; evidence-based activities; providing information and assistance to parents and families on how they can effectively support students, including in a distance learning environment; and tracking student attendance and improving student engagement in distance education.
- School facility repairs and improvements
- Inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, replacement, and upgrade projects to improve the indoor air quality in school facilities, including mechanical and non-mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, filtering, purification and other air cleaning, fans, control systems, and window and door repair and replacement.
- Developing strategies and implementing public health protocols including, to the greatest extent practicable, policies in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff.
- Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in local educational agencies and continuing to employ existing staff of the local educational agency.